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Distinguished panellists gather for conference on Latin America

Press release issued: 7 April 2010

New research on British involvement in the Cuban Revolution and the challenges presented by the Bolivarian Revolution led by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela are just two subjects expected to prompt lively debate at the forthcoming conference of the Society for Latin American Studies.

Marking the 200th anniversary of Spanish American Independence, this year’s conference, which takes place on 9 and 10 April at the University of Bristol, will see more than 200 delegates discuss the most pressing political, economic, environmental, social and historical issues in contemporary Latin America.

Among the speakers will be the acclaimed Honduran scholar Leticia Salomon from the Universidad Autónoma de Honduras, who will reflect on the consequences of the 2009 military coup in Honduras.

The conference organisers Dr Caroline Williams, Dr Matthew Brown and Dr Joanna Crow, from the Department of Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at the University of Bristol, said the issues being addressed at the conference were particularly poignant given recent criticisms levelled in the UK and the US against Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, and the perennial concern with climate change and human rights in the whole of the region.

On the opening evening of the conference, delegates will gather for a question-and-answer session with a distinguished panel of speakers including the Minister for Europe and Latin America Chris Bryant M.P; the Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.K. H.E. Samuel Moncada; Danny Kushlick of the Bristol-based Transform Drug Policy Foundation, and Constantino Casasbuenas Morales, Trade Policy Advisor at Oxfam GB.

The debate promises to be lively, ranging across aspects of Britain’s relationship with Latin America, from commerce and fair trade, climate change and human rights to the “war on drugs” and the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas.

The key-note lecture will be delivered by Professor Steve Stern from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on “The Paradoxes of Truth: Reckoning with Pinochet and the Memory Question in Chile and World Culture, 1989-2006”.

Full details about the conference programme, location and registration are available at

For further information and to arrange press passes contact one of the conference organisers, Dr Caroline Williams (, Dr Matthew Brown ( or Dr Joanna Crow ( 


Further information

Please contact Aliya Mughal for further information.
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